"Cosmopolitan" (St.Petersburg Supplement) October 2003
By Veronica Romanchenko

He had his first big victory when he was 14, becoming the youngest Junior World champion in the figure skating history. And in a year he became the youngest World medallist among adults. Today Evgeni has all gold medals except the Olympic one. The interest to Plushenko in the whole world is huge, he has millions of fans, but he's not going to "undress" for public, describing the details of his victories and defeats. And because of that he got the reputation of a cold and even arrogant man. I can tell just one thing: in the regular life the idol of Russian girls is much simpler - daring, romantic and very charming.

- Are you proud with your achievements?

- I'm glad with my achievements and thankful to the fortune that I'm so lucky. And about the pride I don't know and I don't want to know. I don't want people think about me badly.

- What is it like - being skater N1 in the world?

- I've been aspiring to that for all my life, and I really want to be N1. In the figure skating I'm from 4 and in fact all my life is in the sport. Of course, like an every skater of a high level, I have to refuse of something, to break myself, to overcome physical and moral barriers. All that time one should go ahead, ahead, ahead!

- Were your first steps in the sport hard?

- Very hard, but as my mom said, I've been very stubborn. When I was little I was seriously sick often, I had double-sided pneumonia, the sport hardened me.

- Have you ever had the moment when you wanted to leave everything?

- Several times. When I was 11, in Volgograd where we lived, the rink was closed. And my family and me decided that I would skate no more, but if I wish I could set about karate or soccer. I decided to busy myself with karate. And then in one fine day I was called by my former coach Mikhail Khrisantjevich Makoveev and offered me to continue my training in Moscow or St.Petersburg. I liked St.Petersburg more. Also Mikhail Khrisantjevich had a close friend there - a figure skater coach Alexey Nikolaevich Mishin. We came to St.Petersburg and step by step I began to practice at Mishin's. At the beginning it was very hard, he spared me very few time, because then he also trained Urmanov, and Yagudin, Tataurov, Novoseltsev. I've been the littlest in the group and my turn was last. Once my mom and me even bought the tickets to come home, to Volgograd. Just before leaving we came to my coach and said about our decision. Alexey Nikolaevich said we did a big mistake, because I could skate well, simply it would take time. Then we decided to stay and try once more. I'm convinced that high sport achievements are impossible without strong shocks and crises. As my coach says, swimming in warm sweet milk can't make a hero out of a man.

- In one interview you said that you would like to open the Ice Center in Volgograd and teach kids with figure skating.

- Of course, that would be great. I've been there a year ago; I went to see the old Ice Palace, where I skated. Now it's something unclear, some warehouses. That's wrong. People have no possibilities to skate or play hockey - but those sports are very popular in Russia. I see it with "Yubileiny" Sport Palace example. Such a lot of kids came here every day! But they have no place to practice. The rink is open from 7 a.m. till 12 p.m. and all the same the ice is not enough.

- Also I heard you want to open a restaurant or discotheque.

- Once I've been thinking about it┘ But it takes huge money, which I haven't - it's first, and the second - I need the time. If you begin to busy yourself with something besides the sport, so you will spend for that your forces, nervous, emotions. But now I want to be alone with the sport as much as possible.

- They say you seriously think about writing your biography.

- That's true.

- But you're just 20! Is it not too early to write the biography?

- No, it is not. A soccer player Kerzhakov has written his one. I believe I can tell about myself something interesting. While his sport carrier an every athlete lives something like a one full life: youth, bloom and, sadly, decline. It's an exact model of the real life. So a rather young man can have mature view of life.

- In figure skating you're called "a great experimenter". You programs are so different - classical Bolero by Ravel, Swan by Saint-Sans and at the same time the funny Russian folk dance, the Jewish dance, and parody Sex Bomb. What is the reason of such a sharp change of images?

- It's sport, it's art and certainly you need to be different. If you skate all time in one style, people will see and think: "He can't do it in another way?" And I myself always want to try something new, to see what I can.

- Also you're called Shakespeare on ice┘

- Yes, first time I was called this way by my coach in one his interview. That comparison fits our creative conception, because Shakespeare could express all human feelings: love, perfidy, betrayal. I too want to create in my ice programs as more different, diametrically opposite images as possible. Now for example I'm preparing the program in rap style.

- But what image do you like the best?

- Actually I like all my programs. But for the present I have two favorites - Albinoni music and Igor Korneliuk's music for "Criminal St.Petersburg" series.

- Does anyone work at your image?

- No. Of course I use reasonable advice but yet above all I try to be myself.

- Do you live with the reason or with the feelings?

- Both, but more with the feelings. I'm sentimental, but I separate well loyalty from flattery, sincerity from acting.

- Are you a romantic man?

- I think so.

- Do you have a dream?

- I remember last summer, in America while Champions on Ice tour I had a pleasant evening with one girl. We've been in a yacht, listened to the music, looked at stars, talked┘ I got a very pleasing impression from that and I'd like to repeat it but with the girl I love. Perhaps it's my most romantic dream.

- And what is that girl like?

- Honest, clever, beautiful, tall, slim, romantic, with humor sense┘

- Do you remember your first love?

- Yes, I do, it was a girl named Natasha Kuznetsova. I met her at the skating rink, I was five or six years old. I liked Natasha, courted her, even tried to kiss her. But she sadly refused, saying that her mom didn't permit her to kiss, but I answered: "But my mom does me!" And still permits┘

- Are you often disappointed in people?

- Sometimes. But I've never been disappointed in people or in life totally. I don't know what could disappoint me so strongly and I hope I will never know.

- It's considered that single skaters are very lonely in his life too.

- I believe everyone has his fate, his life. I don't know about another skaters. In my life I have a lot of good friends, acquaintances, close people. In fact I'm never alone. I can share my experiences with my parents, it's them who above all help me in bad times.

- I heard you're interesting in history?

- I've been, in school. Sadly then I hadn't much time for it, all my attention was concentrated on the sport, but I liked history. The past is the overturned future. I remember then I liked the Indians and knights. Perhaps in my previous life I've been a knight. And now I want to be him.

- They say you collect arms?

- Not all arms - only swords. They were bought in different times and in different shops, also abroad, but they have no historical or antiquarian value. In my childhood I had toy swords. But then I decided, why don't I buy real ones?

- I read that you love cars, girls and discotheques┘

- Cars - yes, girls - yes, discotheques - yes. But also I love the paintings, good music, classics of the past. Time to time my likes and dislikes, certainly, change.

- Could you remember the most pleasing moments in your life?

- Actually I have a lot of them. For instance when I won the Euros for the first time, then the Worlds. A lot of pleasant moments are about my family. I love spending my time with my parents, going to the countryside or fishing, I love my dog very much. For a long time I wanted to get a dog. And just two years ago, after buying a flat, I got such a possibility. I decided to buy an American bulldog. A defender. When we came to buy it I chose the nippiest one. And now it's this way - runs, dashes. But it's clever, obeys. I called him Golden.

Translated by Yulya (Pyatatchiok)



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